Tutoring FAQ

Q: Do I need to have a background in education to become a tutor?
A: No. We welcome people from all backgrounds. Here are our standards for becoming a tutor:

  • Able to read, write, and speak English.
  • Holds at least a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Displays an enthusiasm for reading.
  • Is willing to attend a tutor-training workshop and be open-minded in accepting new teaching concepts.
  • Is able to fulfill commitment to tutor training and make a commitment to tutor for one year.
  • Keeps a record of tutoring sessions and submits monthly hour report with the Literacy Center office.
  • Maintains confidentiality.

Q: What if I can’t attend all the Tutor Training sessions?
A: When you register, let the Director and/or Tutor Trainer know of your conflict. We will schedule a make-up session when it is convenient.

Q: Where and when do I meet with my student?
A: The Director will help you find a public location that is convenient for you and your student. Our tutors and students meet at the public library, a local café, or a local church. He/she will help you and your student set your own time and days of the week to meet to accomodate everyone’s schedules.

Q: What if I am sick or going on vacation and need to cancel a session?
A: Contact your student directly as soon as you know.

Q: What if I want to volunteer for more than one program?
A: If you have the time and interest we’ll be happy to have you serve in more than one program. Call us at 203-878-4800 and talk to the Director.

Q: How do you pair me with my student?

A: After a student has contacted our office, our Director will conduct an interview to obtain personal information as well as to determine the literacy needs of the new student. Then he/she will contact a tutor that will be a good match. Interests, location, and schedule preferences will all be considered when deciding.

Q: Is there any additional training I can take after I’ve tutored for a while?
A: Yes, we have occasional in-service training sessions for active tutors. ProLiteracy offers regular online courses in literacy for tutors. We also encourage tutors to attend outside courses.

Q: Can I receive mentoring?
A: At your request, we will assign you a senior tutor to shadow. You will observe this experienced tutor during an actual teaching session with their student. The senior tutor will be able to answer questions for you, give you some tips if you hit a rough spot, and suggest various ways of solving any problems you should have. We want to do everything we can to help you feel prepared before you receive your first student.

Q: What if I find that my personal situation changes and I need to stop tutoring for a few months?
A: First, talk it over with your student. Explain that you’ll need to stop tutoring for a while and determine if the student wants to wait for you to return or would prefer to be re-assigned to another tutor. Then let the Director know so that she can make appropriate arrangements. When you’re ready to resume tutoring, call us.

Q: Can I get some help selecting appropriate texts and workbooks for my student?
A: Yes. Our Director and tutor trainers are always available to assist you to determine appropriate reading texts and workbooks.

Q: What if I find that my student and I don’t make good partners?
A: This rarely happens but, if it does, let our Director know and he/she will find a new tutor for your student and work on finding you another student.

Q: I support your program but don’t have an interest in tutoring right now. How else can I help?

A: We have other opportunities to support the Literacy Center that do not involve direct tutoring of students. Just call the office at 203-878-4800 and talk to us about it.